Traveling by yourself usually means one of two things: your photos will not have you in them at all, or they’ll have the tired “selfie” angle with your head filling the frame and your arm trailing out of the shot. But there are ways to get great shots even when you're flying solo — and we don't mean having to ask a random stranger to play cameraman. Here, six gadgets that promise stellar solo travel photography, while also guaranteeing you won't look like a goofy tourist. Snap on!
Joby GripTight GorillaPod
If a drone is out of your price range, you can still get some great shots with a solid tripod. And Joby’s GripTight GrolliaPod is one of the most versatile we’ve tried. It can hold a wide range of smartphones as well as any point-and- shoot camera compatible with a ¼-20” universal screw, and its flexible legs can wrap around posts, tree branches, or adjust to find a level shot on uneven ground. Bonus: The feet are magnetic, so you can stick it on any metal surface (think: walls our car hoods) as well.
Mooni Remote Shutter
Nothing says ‘vacation’ like asking someone to take a photo of you and then having to chase them down when they run off with your phone. Mooni’s Remote Shutter eliminates this risk, working as a remote control for your smartphone. It pairs with your phone via Bluetooth, then acts as a remote shutter button, so you can set your phone down and capture your shot from up to 30 feet away. It’s not just a shutter, though – the Mooni can control all of your phone’s camera functions, including flash and video.
GoPro Suction Cup Mount
Trying to get a decent shot of you and your buddies in the car is, at best, a way to get a ticket, at worst, a way to barrel roll your car off the side of an embankment. For our money, the GoPro Hero4 Black’s with the suction cup mount is a much better option for on-the-road pics. The camera’s voice-activation allows you take pics without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road, and the suction cup mount lets you get great angles of your road trip antics.
Peak Design Capture PRO Camera Clip
One of the most cited reasons for missing a shot is that you couldn’t get to your camera in time. Peak Design’s lightweight aluminum camera clip securely attaches a camera to a backpack or belt strap and releases it with a press of a button. We tested it in Alaska and the Grand Canyon and it held everything from compact digital cameras to heavyweight DSLRs. You'll never miss a great shot again!
LifeProof LifeActiv Armband QuickMount
We love this one for the combination of protection and easy access to our smartphones. The LifeProof case makes your phone waterproof (to 2 meters for up to an hour) and shockproof (up to 2 meter drops), and thanks to the quick-flip lock, the armband is perfect for activities where you might require quick deploy of your phone’s camera (think: safari drives or nature walks.)
Vinsic 20000mAh Portable Battery
At 20,000mAh, the Vinsic will charge up your smartphone about 7 times, which is basically an entire cross-country road trip with a never-ending loop of "This American Life" playing on your radio. It also charges quickly – it’ll get your phone from zero to 72% within half an hour.